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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Simak Dialog

Demi Masa

Review by Gary Hill

This outfit hails from Indonesia and the music has the world influence of that region. That gives it a unique flavor separating it from the bulk of this genre of sounds. Taken outside that context the music here falls between fusion and RIO – or perhaps within the ground that is shared by the two. It should definitely appeal to fans of both genres, but has characteristics you won’t find elsewhere.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at
Track by Track Review
Salilana Pertama (Forever Part One)
This part makes up a bit more than the first fourteen minutes of the album. It's percussive at the start. Then some odd sonic textures rise up to move this forward with something tied to Rock In Opposition. Those elements drop away leaving just the percussion again. Shortly, though, this all rises up for a return and intensification of the jamming. It continues to evolve. At times it's mellower. At points it's more melodic. There is definitely some real jazz in the mix here at points. The jam around the six minute mark really works particularly well for me. It doesn't change quickly, but it continues to shift as it works forward. The bulk of the rest of the cut lands in the melodic, rather than dissonant RIO based territory. It does get a bit weird and noisy, though. I really love some of the guitar melodies a lot. The guitar gets a lot of opportunity to solo ever the course of this thing.
Salilana Kedua (Forever Part Two)
This cut is very much a percussion dominated one, with a definite world music element to it. This sort of world sound permeates and drives this track. The interplay between acoustic instrumentation and percussion is a nice change from the opening piece. A little before the five minute mark keyboards enter and signal a change back to more standard fusion fare. A reprise of world music gives us a false ending and then a short bit of fusion closes it.
Tak Jauh Pertama (Not So Far Part One)
This track is much more pure fusion. It’s less RIO than the opening piece, but the chaos theory does seem to be present at times. This becomes quite an intriguing piece of music as they run through various themes and stylistic changes. I can make out some definite space rock at times. This ends with a little “slow it down” approach.
Tak Jauh Kedua (Not So Far Part Two)
Melodic harmonic chiming type sounds start things off here. This grows rather organically upwards from there. It continues with some of the most accessible and traditional jazz oriented music on the set. I like this track a lot. There are a couple changes and alterations, but overall this is also one of the more consistently cohesive pieces on show.
Trah Lor – Laras (Northern People Voices)
At less than two and a half minutes in length, this is a short cut and the bulk of it is a rather off-kilter, nearly RIO styled jam. It moves out to a space movement to end, though. 
Trah Lor – Rupa (Northern People Faces)
Tuned percussion drives the early portions of this, but it moves out to more freeform RIO music from there. It’s still rather stripped down, but also chaotic and a bit dissonant. Still, there are some interesting moments throughout.
Trah Lor – Tapak (Northern People Prints)
Seeming to come straight out of the previous track, there is definitely an air of tuned percussion on this, too – and plenty of non-tuned percussion, too. It definitely has a world music texture to it. This does have some non-lyrical female vocals – used more as an instrument.
Karuhun (To Elders)
Piano drives much of this. It’s dramatic and quite cool. It’s another of my favorites on show here. It’s more melodic than some of the other music – and less dissonant and freeform. That said, there are still plenty of intriguing changes and surprises. There is also some killer acoustic guitar soloing later in the number.
Disapih (Separate Away)
This comes in with some of the most pure rock oriented music on show. Certainly there’s more crunch to a lot of this than we get anywhere else on the disc. The track has an odd sort of shifting and yet repeated musical riff that works throughout. The group create a lot of intriguing music around it, though. This is less freeform in some ways and definitely less jarring than a lot of the set. It’s another highlight as far as I’m concerned and covers a good deal of musical territory. There is really some killer music here and everyone creates some magical moments. I’d have to chalk this one up as my favorite on the whole disc. There are a few moments here that remind me of Frank Zappa.
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